A dental crown serves as a cap for a tooth adding strength and restoring the structure if it has been damaged, weakened, or is misshapen. In addition to elevating a natural tooth, today, we can also use crowns to restore missing teeth with the use of a dental implant. Crowns come with a wide variety of options, including materials, and how they can improve your oral health. Our staff at Mt. Hood Dental Clinic can help you find the right restorative option for your needs.
A dental crown is a replica, or perfected, tooth cap. It can be used for both restorative and aesthetic reasons. Crowns can be placed on any tooth, and some may choose to even cap multiple teeth. An advantage of dental crowns is the options available to find the right fit for each patient. There are different materials, and even different types of crowns, based on your needs.
Dental crowns can be customized in a variety of materials. All options come with varying advantages, but some materials are better for different areas of the mouth and how much chewing pressure will be used. These materials include zirconium acrylic, porcelain, porcelain over metal, gold, and other metals. We can review these material options and discuss the advantages for the specific tooth being crowned.
Types of Crowns
A standard crown is customized to completely surround and cover a natural tooth. In addition to standard crowns, some patients may choose a partial crown, or ¾ crown known as a dental inlay or onlay. These partial crowns are designed to fit just the damaged portion of the tooth. This offers a more minimal restorative option and is considered a more holistic approach.
Traditionally, dental crowns have been retained by covering a natural tooth that is retained with the tooth root. In addition to this traditional method, we can retain a crown in a space that has a missing tooth. To do this, we surgically insert a new root when a natural tooth is missing. This is known as a dental implant. Once the implant is firmly bonded to the bone, we can then place a dental crown over the implant, fully restoring the missing tooth.
Placing a Dental Crown
Traditional crowns are placed in two dental visits. During the first visit, we discuss the area of concern, which may be because a tooth was damaged through fracture, chips, or severe decay. It may also be that the tooth suffered trauma from impact or root canal therapy. In some situations, a patient may be choosing to have a crown placed to elevate the aesthetic of the tooth. We can then discuss the material options, which is in part decided on based on the location of where the crown is being placed and the amount of chewing pressure that is expected. With this information, we can then create a cast or mold of the area. All of the information and mold are then sent to a dental lab for fabrication. After we receive the crown, we will contact the patient for the second appointment. At that appointment, we will dry fit the crown, check for fit, make any adjustments, and then cement the crown in place.
Your dental crown should last many years with normal use. We will check the fit and status of your crown at every dental checkup.
If you are interested in finding out more about dental crowns, materials, and placement, please give Mt. Hood Dental Clinic a call at (503) 668-6226.